Photo Credit: Tasnim News
Iran's Defense Minister Amir Hatami (R) viewing a missile exhibition in Tehran, February 2, 2019.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed a claim by Iran that it has, in fact, amassed a stockpile of more than 300 kilograms of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent, in violation of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015.

We are aware of the media reports related to Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU),” an IAEA spokesperson said, according to Reuters. “Our inspectors are on the ground and they will report to headquarters as soon as the LEU stockpile has been verified.”

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Tehran made the announcement this week, saying it had deliberately crossed the limit in retaliation for the new sanctions imposed on the regime by the United States.

Under the deal, Iran is also prohibited from enriching uranium beyond 3.67 percent. The Islamic Republic had been enriching uranium up to 20 percent prior to signing the JCPOA; a level that makes it possible to create a nuclear weapon.

READ: Iran to Surpass Enriched Uranium Stockpile Limits by June 27

Iran warned the world last month it would carry out the plan to breach the 300-kilogram mark. The country’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesperson, Behrouz Kamalvandi warned in a statement on June 27 in the Tehran Times, “We will go further from that ceiling, not only that but we will also increase production drastically. After we pass the limit of 300 kilograms, the pace and the speed of enriched uranium production at the lower rate will also increase.”

The move comes one year after the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear pact.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.